Science of Quality Measurement

The Science of Quality Measurement Program in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery evaluates the methodologies of hospital quality measures used in federal pay-for-performance programs and hospital ratings.

New knowledge is constantly being developed in health care. Concurrently, professional associations, government agencies, health insurance providers and others identify measurements to quantify outcomes, cost of care, patient-reported experience data, community needs and health care workforce wellness. Some of these measurements are used in determining how much the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will reimburse for patient care. Others are used to develop ranking or rating systems to simplify choices for potential patients or referring providers.

Science of Quality Measurement Program experts develop the next generation of value, equity and quality measures that gauge the health care received by patients and populations. The multidisciplinary program team focuses on providing rigorous evaluation and recommendations for the development, use and improvement of quality measurement tools and methodologies.

Mayo Clinic defines quality as a comprehensive look at all aspects of a patient's experience and recognizes that the responsibility to provide the highest quality of care persists at every intersection with people seeking knowledge or care from Mayo. The Science of Quality Measurement Programs helps ensure that all care provided at Mayo Clinic is evidence-based and critically examines best practices to ensure they are — and remain — the gold standard in health care.

Focus areas

  • Enhancing Mayo Clinic's ability to provide outstanding value-based care
  • Building and maintaining Mayo Clinic's quality data platform
  • Evaluating whether hospital rankings and ratings are based on valid measures and methodologies in their assessment and comparison of hospital quality
  • Providing customized dashboards for the Mayo Clinic practice that contain actionable, real-time assessments of the quality of care
  • Identifying, presenting and publishing evidence on the validity and generalizability of existing or proposed health care quality and value measures
  • Using predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop quality measures

Projects

The Science of Quality Measurement Program oversees key projects and initiatives within the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery and across the enterprise.

Quality data dashboards

Mayo Clinic has 10 quality data dashboards that pull data from the electronic health record and display more than 200 risk-adjusted quality measures. These measures are used in hospital pay-for-performance programs, rankings and ratings including:

These dashboards allow for insight into performance at the level of a particular nursing unit or service line and at more granular levels. The operational insights provide evidence-based opportunities for Mayo Clinic to drive quality improvement.

Quality data platform

The Science of Quality Measurement Program team is building a quality data platform to expand Mayo Clinic's ability to access real-time quality data. The platform will provide a technology-based framework for predictive analytics and more efficient modeling of data and measures portrayed in the quality data dashboards.

In addition, the quality data platform will allow users to customize views and performance metrics for operational areas across Mayo Clinic.

Impact of COVID-19 on data and quality measures

It remains largely unknown how factors such as state-mandated elective surgery stoppages, public fear of going to hospitals and an extraordinarily narrow focus on COVID-19 affected the quantity and quality of non-COVID-19 care delivered in the U.S. health system during 2020 and 2021.

This project seeks to describe how quality outcomes, including mortality and readmissions, were affected by the pandemic. The results will be used to engage with hospital rankings and ratings stakeholders regarding assessment of hospital quality during the pandemic.

Assessing medical procedure overuse

A key component of high-value care is avoiding the inappropriate or unnecessary use of medical procedures. Such overuse is reported by external hospital quality stakeholders including the Lown Institute and U.S. News & World Report. The Science of Quality Measurement Program is evaluating and improving methodologies for assessing spinal fusion and other procedures that may be commonly overused.

Value index

The program team strives to be innovators in developing multidimensional hospital benchmarking for quality, experience and affordability. This has led to the creation of a value index that includes multiple ratings and rankings, and which the team continuously updates and identifies opportunities to improve.

Contact

Benjamin (Ben) D. Pollock, Ph.D., M.S.